William Frank Vinen - Curriculum vitae#

Education: Watford Grammar School 1937-1948. Clare College, University of Cambridge 1949-1955
National service: Royal Air Force 1948-1949

University degrees:
  • BA (Cambridge) 1952
  • MA (Cambridge) 1955
  • PhD (Cambridge) 1956

Academic Appointments:
  • Research Fellow, Clare College, Cambridge 1955-1958
  • University Demonstrator and Fellow of Pembroke College Cambridge 1958-1962
  • Professor of Physics, University of Birmingham 1962-1973
  • Visiting Professor of Physics University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois 1964
  • Poynting Professor of Physics, University of Birmingham 1973-1997
  • Head of Department, Department of Physics, University of Birmingham 1973-1981
  • Emeritus Professor, University of Birmingham, 1998-
  • Honorary Visiting Professor, University of Oregon, 1999-
  • Honorary Senior Research Fellow, University of Birmingham 2000-

Awards etc:
  • Fellowship of the Royal Society 1973.
  • Fellowship of the Institute of Physics 1980.
  • Simon Memorial Prize, Institute of Physics 1963.
  • Holweck Medal and Prize, Institute of Physics & the French Physical Society 1978.
  • Rumford Medal, Royal Society 1980.
  • Honorary Life Fellow, Coventry University.
  • Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics 2003 (awarded for contributions to both physics research and physics teaching)
  • Guthrie Medal and Prize, Institute of Physics, 2005.
  • Honorary Doctorate, Charles University, Prague, 2008.

Service on National Bodies:

Many Councils/Boards/Committees:
  • Science & Engineering Research Council (including chairmanship of Physics Committee);
  • The Royal Society (including Council);
  • The Institute of Physics (including Council);
  • The Open University (including Council);
  • The University Grants Committee; HEFCE (Research Assessment Exercises, including chairmanship of 1996 exercise);
  • International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (including chairmanship of Commission C5);
  • The University of Coventry (Coventry Polytechnic; including Governing Body);
  • Standing Conference of Professors of Physics (including chairmanship);
  • NASA Low Temperature Physics Programme;
  • Standing Conference on Schools' Science and Technology;
  • The Department of Trade and Industry;
  • Schools Curriculum and Assessment Authority.
  • Much work in national negotiations with universities and with the Department for Education relating to the introduction of the four year undergraduate courses in physics

Most recently ( the past few years)
  • Chairman, Royal Society Education Committee
  • Member of the Council of the Open University
  • Member of the OU Strategy, Planning and Resources Committee
  • Member of various OU ad hoc groups
  • Member of DTI Committee overseeing work of the NPL on basic metrology
  • Member of the Scientific Council of the Service de Physique de l’Etat Condense, CEA-Saclay

Experimental and theoretical studies of superfluidity, superconductivity, fluid dynamics, and the properties of two-dimensional systems. The experimental discovery of the quantization of circulation in superfluid helium, and of quantized vortex lines. The behaviour of vortex lines in liquid helium and of quantized flux lines in type II superconductors. Studies of the superfluid phase transition in liquid helium by light scattering and very high resolution spectroscopy. Studies of two-dimensional systems of electrons and ions. Studies of classical and quantum turbulence.

Last updated: April 2010

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